To the editor,
When will it be Vancouver Island’s turn for support from the provincial and federal governments for a project like light rail transit? We have 900,000 people compared with the Lower Mainland’s 2,500,000. They have received billions for SkyTrain and other transit improvements while we have received peanuts for buses.
Most of the Island population lives along the rail right-of-way from Victoria to the Comox Valley. Converting this route to a double-tracked light rail system with modern stations and rolling stock will attract commuters and travellers off the crowded, dangerous and polluting Island Highway. This project should be given priority as a means of jump-starting the COVID-wounded economy. The right-of-way is already in the public domain through the Island Corridor Foundation which is owned by the municipalities and regional districts en route. The province has been glad to support the ICF with small talk while lavishing the Lower Mainland projects with big bucks. When is it our turn?
Funding for a SkyTrain extension budgeted at $2.8 billion is already in place, the feds and the province being the major contributors. Our Island project could be completed for a fraction of that amount. What we need is the political will. If we only return MLAs, MPs and local elected officials to office who are publicly committed to this project we will be halfway there.
Brian Blood, Lantzville
The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.